Thoughts: Camping Pt 4

And we are heading back home to Auckland today.

It’s been a very good week. Spontaneous hugs and conversation attest to this.

However, yesterday started a bit weird. Declarations of boredom led me to take the kids to Craters of the Moon. This is a geothermal tourist trap North of Taupo. However, my daughter was not in the right frame of mind, was never going to enjoy it, and whined for 45 minutes. Horrific. My assessment of CotM is that it’s probably priced right but there really isn’t much there to see. In Autumn, Winter it’d be more impressive.

I have appreciated the hospitality of the locals here in Taupo. In the early afternoon, Miss 9 was whisked off for five hours of play with her new friend. She got to spend time with a family that isn’t tech-focused. “They have chickens“! And now she has someone that she will be able to write to.

I took the boychild to a place called Mind Junction. A slightly extortionate tourist destination that features puzzles, a maze, minigolf, a Lego display, a shooting simulator and much more. I thought it would be a bit lame but it turned out to be fun. We spent an hour poring over the Lego looking for specifics: “the mermaid”, “4 sticks of dynamite”, “the man in a chicken suit” etc. Very distracting.

On the way back to town we stopped off at Lava Glass – a glassblower factory and gallery. We watched a man craft a vase. Amazing. I can’t get my head around how this is done. I really do like learning about new stuff.

And now I’m waiting for the tent to dry. Why it had to rain on our last night…

Taupo Top 10 is a good campsite. The new pool should be completed by Easter 2015. My kids have enjoyed it here and are actually angling to return rather than try a new destination next year.

I do think that these places go a bit overboard in charging for everything that they can. Usually things that bored kids want to do. Still, I guess it’s their prerogative.

Once again, a successful adventure. These weeks I spend with my kids are so great and so important. They remember. They talk about them. They look forward to the next time.

^sd

Thoughts: Camping Pt 1

It’s underway!

A few years back I decided to try my kids with camping. You know, the whole “drive someplace, set up a tent, swim, eat, sleep” thing.

Their mother is more a “motel, hotel” kind of person, but I can happily report that they have taken to it and in fact, look forward to it every year.

This year I left booking a destination a bit late, but have ended up in Taupo. This is not a bad secondary choice.

The Top 10 is quite nice. The facilities are clean and well-equipped. There is a pool which dominates our schedule, and by next year the current worksite will be transformed into a pool of beauty and magnificence.

Master 12 has noted, with some disappointment, that most of the other kids he’s spotted are girls. He’s not yet at the point where this is actually a very fine thing indeed.

We are definitely getting more efficient at setting up the campsite, although there were tears of frustration when the camp stretchers were unfurled. Terrible things really.

One thing I’ve enjoyed is seeing my daughter take an interest in cooking (well, BBQing things) and being helpful.

They’re not inclined to go play tourist, which will make for a much cheaper week. We visited Huka Falls which interested them for a minute before they decided an icecream was a much better thing to obsess about.

Anyway, I’m starting to relax into the week. It’s a valuable time, not taken lightly.

^sd